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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  June 6, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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>> when all else fails, the truth. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. lating off toochb, you got it, it gets much worse. anthony weiner just came clean, finally. all day long stories were saying that he engaged in consensual relationships involving sexting and sending intimate photos. late this afternoon, an emotional weiner admitted, yes, he did sometimes after his marriage.
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he lied all last week. he did tweet that infamous picture of himself to a woman in washington state. weiner apologized to his family and constituents, and insisted he would not resign. it is an explosive story and we are covering it from every angle. can weiner survive this sex scandal? some resign immediately. others like bill clinton survive. what distinguishes the survivors from the victims? howard fineman is is a political analyst. and michael steele is the former rnc chairman. gentlemen you are the experts. first here is the news. here is congressman weiner late today. >> last friday night i tweeted a photograph of myself that i intended to send as part after direct message as part of a joke to a woman in seattle. once i realized i posted it to twitter, i panicked, i took it down, and said i had been hacked. i continued with that story, to stick to that story, which is a hugely regrettable mistake.
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this woman was unwittingly dragged into this and absolutely bears no responsibility. i'm so sorry to have disrupted her life in this way. to be clear, this picture was of me and i sent it. i'm deeply sorry for the pain this caused my wife huma and our family, and my constituents, my friends, supporters and staff. >> howard, what do you make of this? here is a guy who tried every trick in the book to covered it up. he blamed it on breitbart, the conservative blogger. he blamed it on hacking. he blamed it on the media. he did everything he could. he said maybe, maybe, maybe it was me. every game in the book. finally, after all this, the word come out there is a lot more pictures coming. they are not the grossest pictures but they prove he has been lying. here is one he is just showing off his chest to somebody out in some woman out there. it is just this stuff. it is just childly. the kind of stuff maybe an
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18-year-old -- how about a 15-year-old. here another one, it's me. he wants to make sure the other person watching at the other end knows it's him. there is another picture with a cat that has has another connotation to gross out somebody. he finally told the truth. let's get to why he did it. >> the reason he did it, he was cornered. the word was spreading through the media and on the hill. i was getting calls and e-mails, from people about what was going on, what was likely to come down. he was cornered. >> what was his alternative to telling the truth? >> there was no longer an alternative. >> okay. >> you see this repeatedly. one of your producers asked me if i had been covering this story. i should have said to her, i've been covering this story for 27 years. >> okay. >> okay, because this is what happens when politicians lie their way into a corner about their personal life. people expect those who govern us to be able to govern themselves at some kind of basic level.
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he couldn't. he lied about it and kept lying until he was cornered by the political community and the press. that's the only reason he did this today. >> this is what politicians are known for. i will be completely nonpartisan. this is a sick story of personal behave. i think it is the juvenilization part of of america. 70-year-old dressing like 18-year-olds. they talk in this idiot twitter language. there is a term for it. rolling disclosure, there's a term for it. you roll and roll and roll and you lie and lie and lie. you finally tell the truth when you have no alternative. >> howard hit it on the head. we have seen this story on the right and left the last 25 years and recently in the last 2 years. the reality of it is, and i said this last week, when you are in that situation you cannot escape the facts. they're going to come out. someone else, some third party has that little bit of information that can trip you up. >> he knew it. >> he had it had done this press conference at the time, i think he would have been in a better position.
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>> here he is with more. by the way, andrew breitbart, leaked it. he didn't hack it, he just got it somehow. he was in the room jousting with the guy. let's watch now, more the weiner. >> in addition over the past few years i have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over twitter, facebook, e-mail and occasionally on the phone with women i had met online. i have edge changed messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years. for the most part these communications took place before my marriage, though some sadly took place after. >> okay, open up another can of worms. right, weiner did. >> yes. >> here it is. phone. he was asked -- the press are tough in new york. you're laughing. >> no, no. >> the press are sobs. phone sex means having some form of sex sex while you are on the phone doing the same thing.
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this term, he wouldn't deny it. just like luke russered last week, he said he can't say it without certainly. >> he essentially admitted it. >> thank you for translating anthony weiner. he essentially admitted it by -- >> he admitted it. with every passing year, you hear in press conferences questions that you never thought you would ever hear asked. but we are in a different world now. and public figures are in a different world. a famous internet executive said about ten years ago there is no such thing as privacy. get used to it. but powerful -- "the washington post" was asking gary hart, have you had sex outside of marriage and the legendary editor of the post you set back journalism for 20 years. he predicted it 20 years earlier. >> powerful people assume they can do things and get away with it and do things in private that other people cannot. but the world has changed.
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>> this is what you do when you -- you have beer glasses. this is what you do which you drink beer and you assume nobody else is paying attention to you. >> right. >> he has this relationship with the press. >> weiner is a sharp guy. >> he has this relationship where he's gone out and done the partisan game very well. and he's beat people up when he's not the target of that discussion. now that he is the target of the discussion, he has a taste of the press really coming at the story. it's not about you and our relationship, it is the story. the other thing that howard touched on, politically as well as how we are socially, information is there. you cannot get way from it. you go to the store. someone is taking a photo. >> you take a picture of me with an old kodak camera. it was yours. you could throw it in the trash can and it would never come back. today we take phone pictures. they always do it. they take a phone picture of us. i figure that's not going to sit in that phone. it is immediately sent to somebody.
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>> here is the answer. in this new world, nothing is hidden. that means all of the more that if you want to be a leader, you have to be honest. >> 24/7 politics. >> true. >> but you have to be honest about it because the proof is going to be there. there is no way to hide. >> forever. >> forever. >> let's take a look at, here is more of weiner today. it was supposed to be at 4:00. it came a bit after 4:00 eastern time. right after we went on air. if you ever saw "mr. smith goes to washington," the bad senator finally said, everything he said is true. it took him only a week. here is weiner talking finally. >> i'm deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and actions. i came here to accept full responsibility for what i've done. i am deeply regretting what i have done and i am not resigning. >> i'm not going to do this tonight but maybe later in the show. i might do it.
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a week of lying to the press. reporters just doing some of the job we do isn't grand. this isn't about what we should be talking about tonight, the debt ceiling and america's bond rating. the trouble we're in as a country. but this is news. a major figure. he is like barney sanders, reliable as a lamp post. at 6:30 at night the light went on. this guy was always there. blaming it on breitbart. this conservative guy. blaming it on hacking. now saying it was consensual. his latest defenses are, he didn't have sex outside of his marriage. he didn't physically meet these people. now the problem is, if you didn't physically meet them, how do you know they are of age? he is building more tunnels to more stories. >> that's what struck me about the press conference. first off, you get to a point where you get that plateau or you can't say or do anything more. >> why did he have a 40-minute press conference? >> that's what happens when you do your own press.
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i think the reality is he's opened up more doors and questions about his behavior he gave us six women. every one of those women will be trailed tonight. here is what he said when all of the women he was involved with were adults, not minors. let's listen. >> i don't know the exact ages of the women. i don't know -- i'm going to respect their privacy, but they're all adults, at least to the best of my knowledge they were all adults, and they were engaging in these conversations consensitily. >> here is the down side. how many adult women do this? >> he doesn't know. as he said, the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. a politician who does hadn't own advising on how to handle an issue like this is a fool. he opened all these new lines. he hung hi wife out to dry here, by saying she was knowledgeable about this beforehand.
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questions will be asked of her. she's a private person, an elegant person. i know her. the last thing he would have ever have to do is deal with this kind of thing. i've never seen in this particular way, a career blow itself up totally. >> i'm not sure he has. what do you think? >> i think he has. just because there's too many other lines of inquiry, too many other questions to be asked about what actually happened. certainly any thought he had of running for mayor, he can forgot. remaining in congress? maybe. maybe he thinks he can wait this out. >> your party never has a candidate in districts like that in new york. these are one-party districts? >> they are largely, but to this point it's not relevant. the reality is even if she staying in congress, this story does not go away. >> you're smart. let's try to do this political,
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but nonpartisan. it seems we all grew up with a jonah and the whale story. as long as jonah is in that boat, the boat's in trouble, okay? so you're pelosi, you're chuck schumer, his mentor. gillibrand, any of his close associates, do you want him as a close associate? >> you tell him to resign. >> if you're steve israel, who i salute on this phone, a brilliant campaign manager, and hi's got to get these guys in place like utah and kansas reelected. now you have this guy elected, they don't like the big city to begin with. >> he's also embarrassed. he's embarrassed his own supporters. as he himself said, he embarrassed his own support
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ers and voters. >> how about his colleagues? >> for sure. >> haven't seen schumer all week. >> why? because he doesn't want to have to answer the question. >> where does this go? political analysis. if this was a member of your party, where would you go? i don't know how it survived. bill clinton has it remain with this as part of his history. >> there does come an end point. he will realize that end point in this district. >> is he going? >> yes. i think it is too problematic for democrats. >> okay. thank you. i think he will try to contend his next primary. i think if he wins the primary he will stick around but i haven't thought of the colleague problem. they may just say we don't want you here. >> the other side, chris, is the breitbart is interesting. he relied on the old ka nard. >> i know. >> oh, yeah, he will get the sidebars all over the place tomorrow. >> he can choke it down. >> he is a mixed bag, but we'll see. howard fineman, thank you michael steele. what a bonfire of the vanities story this is. coming up, congressman weiner says he's not resigning. let's get to the real politics. this guy just blew himself up.
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will the collateral damage be too much for nancy pelosi, for the rest of the party? or are they going to say this guy will sink or ship, and chances of getting back the house. remember, that's their goal, winning. more when we come back. [ male announcer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be.
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♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at keller.edu. sarah palin is grabbing the headlines, but today rick santorum is officially getting into the race. he announced his candidacy in southwestern pennsylvania where his grandfather once worked. a staunch social conservative served two terms in the senate before being trounced in 2006. he lost that race by 17 points. we'll be right back. gives you a full serving of vegetables, plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. and try our deliciously refreshing v8 v-fusion + tea. from allstate. you'll never pay a dime unless you use it and it's open to everyone.
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welcome back to "hardball." as we reported, congressman anthony weiner has come clean but he is not resigning he says.
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why do some politicians survive scandal, like david vitter and bill clinton, and others do not. houses by a problem could weiner have have if he tries to run for reelection? let's turn to strategists right now. john, let's not get too far ahead of this breaking story. he said he told his wife he was doing this phone whatever it was. then he says he told his wife, as i said. then he says, i'm not quitting. how do you admit the biggest lie of your career and then say i'm moving on now? >> i think that's what he hopes. somebody pointed out that the new york media is about as ruthless as it gets. he probably opened up the lynn on 15 or 20 new things. >> six women. >> his wife who supposedly was aware of this.
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>> she's not talking yet. >> and forgave him. she wasn't talking and she wasn't there. won't say where she was. i don't know why he answered 40 minutes worth of questions. i think it would have been better for him politically -- and i think it's a disaster either way. >> why did he tell the truth after all these weeks of lying? >> he had to. >> the pictures were out. >> he gets no credit. >> it was coming out anyway. he opens up new lines of inquiry. i think in two weeks, if anthony weiner is still in congress, i will be surprised. >> here he is talking about his wife. let's listen. >> my primary apologies, as i said several times, is to my wife huma. but she made it very clear that what i did was very dumb and she was not happy about it. and she's very disappointed. she also told me that she loved me and wanted us to pull through this. >> you know, politics is brutal. >> sure. as much as i feel he is dead wrong, i feel for him because no nobody is perfect, and this guy is showing imperfections on live
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television. with 30 barracuda in the room right there, including breitbart. your thoughts, is he done? >> well, eric was right last week when he said he felt for the wife. we all feel for his wife right now. democrats, think back to jerry. >> yeah, but he says his wife knew. he laid it out on her. >> a terrible mistake. >> maybe she is partly responsible if she knew about it. >> she's not. that's ridiculous. >> she's not responsible. >> the fact is they remained in error. studs, frank, clinton, they don't resign. >> vitter. >> let me clarify my comment. why did he say he told her about this is it >> because he thinks, he is a guy that is usually good with the media, usually. not the last ten days. he's somebody who has been able to explain his way, through,
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around or out of any challenge. >> he says my wife and i at around and talked about the fact that i sent embarrassing pictures of myself up until our wedding day and then i stopped. what kind of kvgs is that? >> it's a weird one. >> that's a painful conversation. that's painful conversations that spouses have. this is a very personal tragedy. you got to feel for the wife. >> you might be the youngest guy here. explain sexting and texting. >> i don't know. >> what is this stuff? i don't know. i think that members of congress do this is idiotic. >> why don't people call each other and have a nice romantic conversation if they like each other. you used to call up and ask for dates. is that weird now? you used to say, would you like go out to a movie friday night? >> i'm here as a democrat and i apologize for not being straight down the party line here. >> there's no party line tonight on this. >> thank you. the notion that this is a personal tragedy is only half true. it is not a personal tragedy when a member of congress sends
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these out and is begging to get caught, then argues with the media for ten days, saying it wasn't him. he was hacked, then caught. saying it was everybody but himself. if it was a personal tragedy, he would have quietly resigned. >> what is his strategy saying, you know the phrase, i tail take full responsibility but no particular responsibility. meaning, responsibility meaning you do something. he is leaving it to voters of his district. his district is in brooklyn. a liberal district probably can diversion, so he's not really worried. >> his strategy was articulated when he said i've been in politics for 20 years. i have served for a long time. the people know me. he thinks they are going to forgive him, and i think he's wrong. >> what do you think with the ethics committee? if democrats -- if democrats pile on, they want him to resign. if democrats decide -- >> okay, let me think about this. >> most northern districts are older districts. people who are younger move to
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different parts. brooklyn is probably an old district. typical voters is getting older. the voter is 50-something, they have a social security problem, a work problem, a civil rights problem, and they're thinking he's busting his hump for me, i know, because he wrote a letter for me. a staffer wrote that letter. and then he finds out who they thinks is helping him with his personal case problem it is life or death for them. are they getting their health benefits paid or not. this guy is sitting around bored to death on his laptop or blackberry, wasting time, and he says all my time is congressional. so what does that say? if you are an old district voter? what do they say? thanks for helping me. >> thanks for helping me. but congressman weiner's problem is there are 5, 10, 8 -- there
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are some number of people just like him, just as ambitious, who are clean and doing the same thing for their constituents. they're ready to run. >> they like that 170 a year. >> absolutely. that's the thing about the ethics committee and nancy pelosi. pelosi can easily replace weiner with another democrat. is she going to increase pressure on him? and from what steve tells me, she might likely do that and do it through -- >> i did not say that. >> he's embarrassed. he is a man who knows what embarrassment looks like. he is not one of the shameless bums that does horrible things then walks past and said, take it or leave it. he looks like he's taking himself. his wife's not there. he is personally feeling this horrible thing. he knows that everybody in america now knows about his weirdness, right? >> yeah. >> so i'm trying to figure out where this takes us. where does that human quality take us now? the fact is, is he like spitzer, who is absolutely shameless, and
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right on television, a big media star on one of the networks. that guy has no shame. >> if weiner decides to resign, maybe he could get his own tv show. >> spitzer did quit had he got caught. >> i never thought i would say eliot spitzer is a profile in courage in this regard. >> this guy showed more shame but won't quit. >> exactly. he showed more shame but won't quit because he thinks he can get through it. eliot spitzer made it a private matter. he quit, went away, went through counseling, worked it out with his wife. and he came back. >> after the clinton stuff came through, there were a lot of democrats who wanted clinton to quit. part of being a guy who survives, you have to sell yourself, and think i'm going to go through this. >> clinton, deep, deep, deep did not believe it had any effect on his being president. and that's a big question.
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>> i think his colleagues will push him out the door. they don't want to be the on the weiner ticket. he will become the next bad guy. thank you, steve. thank you, john. i don't want to be too nonpartisan. you know, you watch these things and after all your supposition and suspicious comes through, follow your instincts. if you think they're crooks, they're lying, go with it. got it? how did is tina fey's impersonation. perfect. she completely confused one of the tv networks. guess which one? you're watching "hardball" . [ male announcer ] millions of men 45 and older
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welcome back to "hardball." now to "the sideshow." first up, how good has tina fey's of sarah palin a gotten? pretty good. take a closer look at the photo of palin. it is actually an image of tina fey doing her send at the vice president's debate. tina fey is of course the star of "30 rock." up next, is president obama deliberately trying to raise gas prices? that's the ludicrous line being
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pushed by haley barbour. this is "face the nation." >> somebody told me that you actually said this week you think that the president is trying to drive up energy policy, energy prices on purpose. did you say that? >> there's no question about that. this administration policy has clearly been to drive up the cost of energy so americans would use less of it. that's their policy. >> wow. regardless of the public policy question, any president, including this one, facing reelection would lower gas prices, now higher gas prices. high gas prices would have been a killer politically. finally, wait until giuliani gets into the presidential race. this time down in peru. he joined an advisor last month. a peruvian candidate, keiko fujimori is a daughter of the imprisoned former president. did giuliani help major the difference? the answer in english and spanish is the same -- no.
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keiko fujimori conceded defeat to her opponent. let's see if they did any more in the coming home games. >> up next, biggest story of the day on the east coast. anthony weiner admits finally after a week of lying that he sent all these lewd photos. he is 100%, a thousand percent guilty as charged. but says he refuses to quit. you're watching "hardball." boy, this is "hardball." only on msnbc. your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. the deaths of five u.s. soldiers marks the worst one-day death toll since 2009. unconfirmed reports out of syria cease antigovernment rebels killed about 120 in a town that's being used to launch attacks on rebel forces. here at home, firefighters
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say there's no containment right now on a raging wildfire burning in arizona. they're hoping it will eventually burn itself out. meanwhile, army engineers are constructing a backup levee on the missouri river. they say the existing one will eventually give way. investigators reportedly have e-mails saying he knew about -- and now trained and new rules involving homosexuality, there have been no problems so far to endanger the impending repeal of don't ask/don't tell. now back to "hardball." >> welcome back to "hardball." we are back with more on the biggest story of the day, maybe of the month, anthony weiner admitting that everything he was accused of last week was
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true. this is like out of a movie, a perry mason moment that he did send that photo to a woman in washington state and he has been carrying on or sexting with other women, since his marriage. gentlemen, i want to ask you about this thing because, maybe because i want to try to understand why this looks so bad for anthony weiner. even though i do feel for him as a person. all these days, he denied it flatly. blamed it, blamed it, blamed it. the presses crazy, told luke russert ma maybe it is possible, he didn't get caught with another woman. he didn't get involved in anything to do with public money. he didn't get involved in anything to do with having relations with a lobbyist for example, which is usually killer -- section plus is what they called it in the old days. it is a high school level embarrassment. like your parents go in your room and see you are doing this
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kind of stuff. this is grotty -- gross -- another kids' term. chris lee, the guy from upstate work, quit that day. of course democrats celebrated his defeat. your thoughts. what is a firing offense? what makes this gross? >> he doesn't think it is a firing offense because he is not quitting. there is an embarrassment level here that makes it hard for him to maintain public trust and responsibility. his colleagues won't want to have anything to do with him. what kind of public example does he set for kids who want to get into politics? >> he is basically saying he can still be a kid. >> there are more photos out there that are going to come out. >> apparently a gross one. >> those photos are going to make this -- make this seem live and repeated with each new photo. >> look, putting out his chest to somebody. i don't even know why people do it. >> this is a digital scandal. we used to have real sex scandals, with real sex and presidents.
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>> we are now in the virtual world. >> if you compare with what he did with what clinton did or what senator vitt irdid, you know, it is kind of different, kind of the same. which one is worse? people can make their own judgments. clinton soldiered on. vitter soldiered on. won reelection. >> one distinction there. he wasn't out there soliciting active sex with someone like chris lee was. he wasn't out there -- >> john edwards only last week talking about john edwards. there may be a difference -- >> that's all time sex. >> all of it is immoral. all of it is unfaithful. none of it is a good example. >> what about the old argument -- by the way, you have a british accent so i will go to you. it used to be the british were involved in kinky, and americans were involved in stealing money. now they are stepping up in the kinky department. >> it is still wrong, still embarrassing. >> let's listen to weiner here when he was asked about being engaged in phone sex. i think people have figured out what that is. let's listen.
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>> i am reluctant, for their privacy, since their names are coming out, not going to characterize it except that it was consensual. i'm not going to -- i'm not going to rebut anything or dispute anything that any of the women who have come forward have said. they have every right to do so. so i'm not going to make any efforts to characterize those conversations. >> poor choice of words consensual. because the next word is sex. that's strauss-kahn's defense. what does it mean to say, i don't want to characterize a phone conversation because it was a phone conversation. we already know that. >> well i think it was a sexy phone conversation and he will say to protect their privacy i'm not going to into detail. he is leaving it to his voters of hi district to see if this is game on, game out. >> they are acting 16, 17 years old. >> the only way to stop, it is not to answer any question.
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the only way it stop this is to leave the public stage. >> the photos will still come out. i think there's a constituent here who we haven't heard from, and we won't, and that is his wife. if she wants him to fight on -- he might have an obligation to do that. >> he said she is with him. >> well, we can't -- >> she may not want the story to keep going. it may have legs. he says he didn't break the law. these are denials that don't really relate, because no one said he did. let's listen. >> i don't believe that i did anything here that violate any law or violate my oath to my constituents. what i did was something that demonstrated a very deep personal failing and that's why i'm here to apologize. >> let's get back to the amazing thing. spitzer went on and basically another new yorker, a mixed bag like i think we all are, i think everyone is a mixed bag. >> some more mixed than others. >> mixed nuts, sometimes. spitzer went on tv and didn't seem ashamed of himself. he was on tv later a big star. he gave up the governorship
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pretty much lickity split. this guy as a human being, looks embarrassed. he has a wife, a bride, he just got married. very embarrassed yes he's not doing nothing but admitting it. >> this is what you have some politicians that are doing it. you have john ensign. >> no photos. >> that's right. you have david vitter, phone records but no photos. you have bill clinton, no photos, but very, very -- >> there was a bit of evident there. >> explicit evident in the special prosecutor's report. i mean, politicians decide which way they are going to go. >> this is why people don't like politicians. rolling disclosure. rolling disclosure. i want everybody to learn that phrase. rolling disclosure means you release the information when it is convenient to you. in this case, when you had no choice. >> trust and credibility are all that politicians have. that's why people are disillusioned. you can't trust any of them. you lie, you pretend you have a happy married life. that's why they don't have credibility on this or anything else. >> thank you.
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thank you for coming on. thank you, as always. up next, republicans in the house of representatives want to cut food eight to school kids. that will go over well. academy award winner jeff bridges. why does my favorite actor have to come on a show like this. i can't wait to meet him. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. when you come to new york from a place like detroit, no one expects you to influence the world of fashion. but when you grew up surrounded by rock 'n' roll and heavy industry, you just might make a name for yourself. ♪ that's what a blue-collar attitude can do in a white-collar world. ttd# 1-800-345-2550
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ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 and talk to chuck about ttd# 1-800-345-2550 rolling over that old 401k. well, john edwards turned down a plea deal last week that would have had him pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges, that would have landed him in jail for six months. the deal was reported yesterday. he pleaded not guilty to felony campaign finance charges on friday. we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe
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♪ ♪ welcome back to "hardball." that of course was the great jeff bridges in "crazy heart" where he did sing those songs. here is one of my favorites opposite hallie steinfeld in "true grit," another great movie. >> we were in the woods all night. we set around a big fire and told ghost stories. we had a good time. >> good morning. >> anyway, jeff bridges in an
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antihunger afternoon, joining us with bill short, a great friend of mine. short is founder of share our strength. jeff bridges a national spokesperson were no kid hungry campaign. wall to wall wall to wall sleaze, and now we have to do something nice for people tonight. jeff bridges, you're one of my heros, ever since you had a problem with cybill shepherd in the last picture show, and, "th big le bowes -- lebowski," what are you here about? >> we are kicking off the no kid hungry campaign here in virginia. we will do that tomorrow with governor mcdowell. >> you've got a republican? >> well, he's been that, you know, he's been concerned with the hunger issues for over 20 years now. but it's a bipartisan thing. we've got to end children who are hungry here in this country. it's gone crazy.
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>> well, bill, you talked about, what i understand, this is kids that are impoverished home situations, parents aren't responsible. they don't have any money. they go to school and get at least get a decent lunch. how many kids are like that? >> we have 20 million kids who have a free or reduced-price lunch. only 9 million are getting breakfast. only 3 million get meals in the summertime. so we are talking about the period when the kids are vulnerable because schools are closed. so you have to set up alternative sites. the irony, and i think this is washington's best kept seek yet, the money is appropriated. these are entitlement programs. not the ones that drive the national debt. the ones that democrats and republicans say kids shouldn't be the victims when the economy changes. >> there's an old tradition of democrats who are conservative as hell, but they believe in things like social security and meals on wheels. >> absolutely.
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it's great to have the governor on board. it signals this is a bipartisan issue. that's what it's going to take to end it. >> what does it cost to feed a kid, do you know? >> a year, you meerch? >> a do they cost? it's all surplus food. >> the federal government probably spends $50 or $60 billion a year. that's a fraction of what drives most budget considerations. it's really not very much. and a billion dollars of it is also indicated but untapped. all we're saying is not create a new federal program. take the programs that exist, get more kids enrolled. this is the only meal that most of these kids get. >> let's talk about you. i never thought you as a country star. you came across that story in "crazy heart" as a regular guy. identify with these things. >> thab that's it. maybe i'm just a regular guy. i love people.
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i'm a family man. i've got kids of my own. i can imagine what it would be like not being able to feed my kids. when you know the facts that there's one in every four of our children in this country struggle with hunger and you know it doesn't have to be that way that they are programs to prevent that, to stop that, i want to do everything i can to make that a reality. >> where are you going after virginia? >> well, you know, california is up to be one of our next states. i'm going up to montana. you mentioned the music. i'm putting a band together. i'm going up there in my hometown up there of bozeman and livingston. i want to get the no kid hungry program work up there. >> we're in 13 states. we'll be in 20 i think by the end of this year. jeff's driven the growth of this. >> we have a 9% unemployment rate. we have underemployment about 17%. what's that doing to kids not eating? >> that's a huge problem.
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but you know, the whole problem of poverty and hunger they're very related. poverty's pretty complex. there are a lot of ins and outs of that one. but hunger, we've got the programs in place. it's a matter of getting the message out to the people. for instance, here in virginia, the folks can call 2-1-1 to find out where there's sites to feed their kids during the summer. summer is the toughest time. >> these exist. the parents can get them there to feed them. >> absolutely. we are encouraging governors and mayors to get on board to make sure that there's more transportation to these sites. >> you're a good man. i am so impressed by your career. i'll tell you this, are you
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going to take sides on this one? >> i go with the prez. obama he is one of the reasons we've got this campaign going in the first place, he said i intend to end childhood hunger in this country by 2015. all the nongovernment organizations, everybody's getting behind him and we're going to do it. >> i grew up with this guy. lloyd bridges, every saturday night. lloyd bridges, beau bridges your brothers. "the fabulous baker boys." great stuff. thank you very much. >> thanks, chris. >> it's an honor. when we return, let me finish with what i think's going on in the republican presidential. there is life beyond wieren. and how sarah palin she is the new king of the republican party. she's going to pick the winner i think in the republican side. think in the republican side. you're watching "hardball."nd or just don't feel like they used to.
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and the troublemakers get all the attention. so how do you reach the kids in the middle? this is exactly the kind of challenge we help future teachers solve. ♪ my name is beatrice hair. i teach hundreds of kids one-on-one,
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the republican campaign has hit the beach, politically. a week from now the kand days six of them face off in the first real debate of 2012.
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here's what i think is going on in the inside. sarah palin she's playing tammany hall political boss. her agenda knock off mitt romney. she's got real problems with hichl one, she doesn't want him to win. not mitt romney running the country for eight years. i can give you several reasons. look at her background, look at his. do you really think he's her kind of republican? she hoed a bit of this attitude last week going to new hampshire and big footing mitt. knocked him out of the ballpark. that bus of hers rolled over his chili fest. second, knock off michelle bachmann. she's getting in the race showing up for monday's next big debate. she's a real life candidate and sarah baunts her off the scope. she's out to knock them off the course. she backs the alternative to romney. tim pawlenty the exgovernor of minnesota who happens to be the active alternative to bachmann. this is where it gets
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intriguing, even fascinating. can someone with palin's chops work this for pawlenty? can she put a tiger in this guy's tank. better yet, can she be that tiger. this is wild. if palin pulls it off pawlenty can win the caucus and win in south carolina. starting a long, hard campaign against the deep pocketed romney across the country. it would be romney, pawlenty on ward to the national convention in tampa. if palin fails to light up pawlenty in iowa and bachmann wins out there, then bachmann goes to new hampshire strong enough to make a decent showing then head down to south carolina and she could win there. setting up a romney versus bachmann race all the way to tampa. this is how it looks on the republican side. i'm count tong debate to make the difference. if michelle bachmann can be a star in the big candidate nights like next monday, she'll be the one
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